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with his righteoufnefs and eternal life, and Chrift offers himself to you accordingly; furely the effect of that appointment and offer must be, that they are indeed yours, to be used by you, as your own, for your falvation. If you believe that appointment of the Father, and the Son's offer, you must needs believe this: for if they be real, and not ludicrous deeds, they certainly convey to you a right to Chrift, his righteousness and falvation; fo that, in virtue of them, these must be yours, to be warrantably claimed and used by you as your own, for the purpofes of falvation. It is not doubted, but mens deeds of gift, and their offers, real and not ludicrous, do convey fuch a right to the parties in favour of whom they are made. If a friend of yours, having a fum of money lying in a neighbour's hand, fhould, especially by a deed of writing under his own hand, appoint and ordain that fum a gift to you, to relieve you out of a certain ftrait; you would make no question but you might go and claim it, and take it up: if, having the fum in his own hand, he thould offer it to you as a gift, you would make no question but you might take it to you; and, in both cafes, ufe it as your own by your friend's appointment or offer. And shall not the Father's ordinance and ap pointment, and Chrift's offer, be as efficacious? Why then will you not believe this its efficacy? Why will ye not believe, that Christ with his righteousness and eternal life are yours?
Truly, the believing hereof is the very next step to the foul's uniting with Christ: and therefore it is propofed to the finner, as the nearest means to bring him clofe unto God in Chrift, Hof. xiv. 1. Return unto the Lord thy God: he is thy God, thou hast a right to him, return, come even to him, take poffeffion of him as thine own God. Accordingly, the finner coming to him by faith, comes on this very ground, Jer. iii. 22. Behold, we come unto thee, for
for thou art the Lord our God. Verse 23. Truly in the Lord our God is the falvation of Ifrael. As Hagar's eyes were feasonably opened to fee fhe had a well by her, when he had given up her fon for dead; fo when the finner lies in his death's wounds from the law, in a work of conviction, the spirit of faith opens his eyes, by means of the glorious gospel, in a work of faving illumination, fo that he fees he hath a Saviour, a righteousness, and falvation. And then he presently apprehends or grips the fame as his own. Thus the prodigal firft believed that he had yet a father, and a father's houfe, where there was enough and to spare, and then arifeth and goeth to him, Luke xv. 17, 18.
OBJECT. I. If it be true that Chrift is my Saviour, that his righteousness, and eternal life in him, are mine; then I may be eafy, I'll certainly be faved without any more ado. ANs. That is but a cavil, beft fuiting thofe who being indifferent about Chrift and falvation, think it not worth their pains feriously to confider fuch things. One truly weighted with the matter, and duly confidering, being once brought to believe this, would rather fay, "Then, fince "Chrift is really my Saviour, his righteoufnefs and "eternal life mine; I will take him to me, I will "receive and reft on him as my Saviour, I will rely "on his righteoufnefs, and look for eternal life in "him; why fhould I be loft for ever, fince I have
a full Saviour? Why should I go naked, fince I "have a complete righteousness made over to me "by Heaven's gift? Why should I die, when I have "eternal life in Chrift?" Put the cafe, you did fee a man at the point of starving for want of bread; and, out of kindness and pity to him, you should appoint and ordain meat for him, out of your own ftore, for prefervation of his life; and withal (hould carry it to him, and fet it before him, faying, Ha, there is meat I and my father have ordained for you, eat,
eat, and welcome. If that man fhould fay, Oh! I may not take it, for it is not mine own: would you not tell him, that your gift, appointment, and offer of it to him, makes it his, fo that with a good confcience, he may freely eat it as his own bread? But fhould he then reply, and fay, Why then, if it is nine, without any more ado I am fecured from ftarving; I need not at all be at pains to take and eat it; would you not reckon him either mad, or but jefting with you, not fenfible of his hazard of ftarving? The application is obvious. It is not meat's being one's own, fo that he may use it freely as fuch, that will keep him from ftarving: he muft take and eat it, and fo ufe it as his own, if he would have that benefit by it. Even fo it is not Chrift's be ing yours, with his righteoufnefs and falvation, that will fave you: you must take poffeffion of him, and make ufe of him as your own, for falvation, if you would be actually faved by him. There is a wide difference betwixt a thing's being ours in fimple right thereto, and its being ours in poffeffion. It is in the former way only that Chrift is yours before uniting with him and if you do not improve that, by receiving him and taking poffeffion, you will perish erernally for all it: Heb. iv. 1. Let us therefore fear left a promife being left us of entering into his reft, any of you should feem to come fhort of it. Luke xvi. 22. If ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who fhall give you that which is your own?
OBJECT. 2. But Chrift a Saviour, his perfect righteoufnefs, and eternal life, are things fo exceed. ing great and precious, and I am fo very finful and unworthy, that it is mighty hard for me to believe they are mine. ANS. Yea, here indeed lies a great difficulty of believing; when once a finner's eyes are opened, to fee the tranfcendent excellency of Chrift, the exceeding finfulness of fin, and his own utter unworthinels: a difficulty not to be furmounted, but by
by the effectual operation of the Spirit of faith, cauf ing one to believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Eph. i. 19. But for your help, confider they are yours by mere free gift; which is fo far from requiring any worth in the creature, that it excludes all refpect thereto. Chrift himfelf is the Father's gift to you, John iv. ro. and vi. 32. His righteousness is a gift too, Rom. v, 17. And fo is eternal life in him, 1 John v. 11. Now, what is freer than a gift and then, howbeit they are indeed a gift far beyond whatever you could have expected, yet they are not too great for an infinite God to give. In making of this gift, he acted not according to the dignity of the party in whofe favour it was made; but according to himself, his own greatness and majefty. Mean while, though the gift is quite above your dignity, yet it is no more than what your need required. If lefs could have answered your neceffity, there is no ground to think, a crucified Chrift, the Son of God, would have been prepared for you. If you do but fuppofe it, you mar that expreffion of matchless love, John iii. 16, God fo loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son. Wherefore argue with yourself in this manner: "The gift is indeed "unfpeakable, but no lefs can ferve my need; if "Chrift be not mine, I must perish: since therefore "God hath faid it, that he hath given me Christ; "and the gift is not above him to give, and no "lefs can ferve my turn; I must and will believe "that he is mine, with his righteousness and salva❝tion."
IV. The Faith of particular Truft for Salvation.
Finally, You must wholly trust on him as your Saviour, and in his righteousness as made over to you;· and that for his whole falvation to you in particular, upon the ground of God's faithfulness in his word.
And this is that faving faith, or believing on Chrift Jefus, by which a finner is united to him, and perfonally entered within the covenant of grace unto falvation: Acts xvi. 31. Believe on the Lord Jefus Chrift, and thou shalt be faved. Pfalm ii. 12. Kiss the Son left he be angry, and ye perifh-; blessed are all they that put their trust in him. And Pfalm xxxvii. 40. He shall fave them, because they trust in him. Rom. xv. 12. In him shall the Gentiles truft. Compare Ifa. xi. 10. Rom. i. 17. Therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith; or, Therein is the righteousness of God by faith, revealed unto faith, to wit, to be believed or trusted on. See Philip. iii. 9. Gal. ii. 16. We have believed in Jefus Chrift, that we might be justified. Acts xv. 11. We believe, that, through the grace of the Lord Jefus Chrift we shall be faved. Theff. ii. 13. Te received it not as the word of men, but (as it is in truth) the word of God. 1 Cor. ii. 5. That your faith should not stand in the wifdom of men, but in the power of God. This, according to the fcripture, is a finner's receiving and refting upon Chrift for salvation, as faving faith is defined in our Catechifm: and this is indeed believing, and nothing but believing, according to the scriptural ufe of that word.
1. I fay, this is the fcriptural receiving and resting on Chrift. It is the receiving of him in the fenfe of the holy fcripture: John i. 12. As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the fons of God, even to them that believe on his name : where the receiving of Chrift is explained by believ ing on his name. God hath appointed Christ Saviour of the world, and your Saviour. You hear the fame published in the gofpel; and you accordingly believe that he is your Saviour by his Father's appointment, and his own offer: hereupon you trust on him, and on him alone, for falvation, and all that you need for your falvation. Is not this a receiving of